Conflict of Interest at the World Health Organisation – Leading Expert Anders Ahlbom Linked to the Telecom Industry
Posted on Microwave News
The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has removed Anders Ahlbom of the Karolinska Institute from its panel of experts which is set to evaluate the cancer risks posed by mobile phones. The committee will meet in Lyon, France, for a week beginning this coming Tuesday, May 24. In an e-mail sent out earlier today, Ahlbom wrote, “IARC has excluded me from the RF Working Group because of ‘possible perception of conflict of interest’.”
IARC moved quickly after learning that Ahlbom is a director of his brother’s consulting firm, Gunnar Ahlbom AB. The company, which is based in Brussels, was established to help clients on telecom issues, with an emphasis on environmental and energy regulations.
Read the whole story at Microwave News
PRESS RELEASE 23rd May 2011:
Leading expert Anders Ahlbom linked to the Telecom Industry.
CONFLICT OF INTEREST AT THE WHO
Professor Ahlbom, who is appointed to chair the expert group on epidemiology at the upcoming IARC evaluation of the carcinogenicity of mobile phone radiation, is the co-founder of “Gunnar Ahlbom AB” a Brussels-based lobby firm aiming to assist the telecom industry on EU regulations, public affairs and corporate communications.
Professor Ahlbom created the lobby firm in 2010 together with his brother and sister in law who live in Brussels. The brother, Gunnar Ahlbom, is a telecom lobbyist in Brussels since the early 90’s, and was already active in this field in 1998 when Professor Ahlbom participated in the setting of the controversial ICNIRP standards on radiation from different sources of non ionizing radiation like wireless devices and cell towers.
– Anders Ahlbom’s link to the Telecom Industry through his brother and their common company is a straight-forward explanation of his systematic denial of health risks, says Mona Nilsson, Swedish author and investigation journalist.
The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) is part of the World Health Organisation (WHO), and publishes Monographs to identify environmental factors that can increase the risk of human cancer. The preparation of the IARC Monographs on “Non-Ionizing Radiation, Part II: Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Fields [includes mobile telephones]” will start this week in Lyon, France (24-31 of May). The result of the review is of utmost importance to the telecom industry, which is sending three observers to the meeting: Mays Swicord, CTIA (the wireless association), Joe Elder, the Mobile Manufacturers Forum (MMF) and Jack Rowley, the GSM Association.
The members of the IARC scientific committee have to submit a declaration of interest. Professor Ahlbom has not reported his involvement in the lobby firm, nor his close family relation to a mobile phone industry lobbyist (Gunnar Ahlbom).
The IARC has already banned a scientist from the committee. Dr Alexander Lerchl from the German Radiation Protection Board, has been questioned regarding his relations to the German mobile industry, and was finally not accepted in the committee as “an IARC Monograph is an exercise that demands complete independence from all commercial interests, and from advocates who might be perceived as advancing a pre-conceived position.
“Industry-loyal scientists have seized the interpretation privilege”
The present revelation doesn’t come as a surprise to Mona Nilsson who has been investigating Prof Ahlbom’s statements and whereabouts for many years.